Computer Accessories Illegal in Garbage & Drains E-Waste If your items are in good condition, consider donating them. Never Throw in the Trash Never throw away computer accessories, including power cables, mice, keyboards, thumb drives, modems or headphones. They are made of plastics and metals that can release toxic chemicals like dioxins in a landfill. Did You Know? Computer Cables Are Toxic in Landfills A Greenpeace study showed that polyvinyl chloride (a type of plastic that’s harmful to human health) makes up about 44 percent of the plastic coating used to make cables. Laptop power cables also contain phthalates, which are harmful to the liver. For these reasons, make sure to recycle cables properly.